Saturday, May 20, 2023

INDY 500: It’s Pole Day, Sorta, Not!

Since we All know it’s now Bass Ackwards with the Made for TV Drama occurring Sunday. Even though Saturday was pretty G-Damn Exciting!


Managed to listen to a portion of the early Hours of Fast Friday via IndyCar Radio. Where Nicky Salt’ Yeoman and Jake “The Riddler!” Query mentioned multiple times how Takuma Sato had the day’s top speed of 234.753mph before He aboarted His four lap Qualie’ simulation after flirting with almost Hitting the Wall! Whilst Rinus VeeKay held the fastest four lap average, but All of that was before the Halfway mark of the day’s six hours running…


As I’m not sure how much the single lap results mean? Since it seems that the four lap average mock qualifying simulation speeds are more important, righto? Nevertheless Here’s the day’s Top-10 runners, with Sato’s lap remaining quickest.


As I’d say it’s definitely a surprise that Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti was second, with His teammates Kyle Kirkwood eight and Colton Herta ninth. Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay was third fastest, and final driver in the 234mph range.


Sato’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Marcus Ericson was fourth, with Scott Dixon tenth. As Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’ward was fifth, followed by Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden sixth and A.J. foyt’s Santino Ferrucci an impressive seventh.


As Jake Query noted, the two IndyCar teams struggling the most were Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) and Juncos Hollinger Racing! (JHR) With All four of the RLLR cars towards the bottom of the time sheet with surprisingly Katherine Legge leading the way in 29th with a speed of 231.420mph. Yet teammates Jack Harvey, (231.166) Christian Lundgaard (231.153) and Graham Rahal (230.669) Were P31-33, Youch!


Whilst the Nightmare continued for JHR’s Kallum Ilott, for which you can obviously say that the team simply got it wrong! And Thars really No reason to Bash them about the decision to not decide to finally switch to an alternate chassis for Ilott until Friday afternoon. Meaning the talented Englishman, who other drivers marveled over His skill of keeping His Wandering Matilda Off of the Walls! Was the only driver unable to crack the 230mph barrier! Only capable of dragging His recalcitrant Dallara to a 228.942mph speed.


While His teammate Agustin Canapino was in 20th with a rock solid speed of 232.920mph, nearly four miles per hour faster than Ilott!


As JHR will thrash over Friday night to get teammate Canapino’s April Open test mount ready for Ilott to Shake-down during Saturday morning practice before attempting to Qualify.


Meanwhile, the Underdog Abel Motorsports entry with R. C. Enersen at the Keyboard slotted in at P30, with a best lap speed of 231.242mph. but it doesn’t seem like much is being said about this entry, which I take as a good thing! Since All of the Media’s focus seems to be upon the two aforementioned teams above…


Whilst not surprisingly, Chip Ganassi Racing drivers have led All three days of practice. With Takuma Sato P1, “Top of the Pops” on Wednesday and Friday. With Marcus Ericsson P1 Thursday.


As stay tuned for two days of action packed Drama! As who’s it gonna be going home dejected Sunday afternoon? And which of the Ganassi Boyz’ will be on Pole? Or will somebody else step up and steal the Show?


As I can only wonder if Callum Ilott’s unable to qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500, will that be the Kicker that makes Him leave the team that brought Him to Indy Cars next year?


Day One: Fast and most definitely Furious!

What an Insane first day of Qualifying that was! With a record shattering 84 Qualie’ attempts! As I’m not sure where to begin?


Have to say I was far more interested over who’d be in the Last Row Shootout; which is why I suppose I began scribblin’ down every competitors four lap average. Having tuned into the IndyCar Radio broadcast at 7:58AM Pacific, with Ryan Hunter-reay being the very first qualifier. As I managed to keep track thru the first 28 runs before missing David Malukas’s first attempt when the IndyCar Radio broadcast stopped at 11AM Pacivic. Thus needing to scramble to tune into 1075 The Fan via Ye Intrawoods’.


And with Team Penske pulling both ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden’s first guaranteed attempts, I believe that it was Agustin Canapino who was the 32nd and last car to make Thar first Qualie’ attempt

Thus originally seeing Canapino’s teammate Callum Ilott slowest with a speed of 227.720mph, followed by Graham Rahal’s 228.526mph, for which the RLLR Team was completely flabbergasted!


Ironically nary a peep was made about R. C. enersen’s qualification run of 231.129mph. As Enersen and Abel Motorsports quietly made the Show in 29th


Then on Ilott’s second run, the Bloody Brit ‘ threw down a monster first lap of 232.4mph. Leading to a four lap average of 231.182mph, seeing Ilott qualify P28! And JHR making the right call to switch chassis.


Who’d Ah-thunk-It? That with three hours remaiing it would be the two DCr Boyz’ vs. half of RLLR’s entries, i.e.; Harvey and Graham Rahal being the four Slowest cars. As prior to 1PM Pacific, I believe it was Dale Coyne Racing’s Sting Ray Robb, David Malukas, Rahal and Harvey P31-34.


As Malukas and Christian Lundgaard became locked in a Mano e Mano duel over the 30th and final “Safe” position of the day. As “Little Spud” (Malukas) had it before Lundgaard reclaimed it five minutes later. Before Malukas ran a stout 231.769mph on His day’s final run to improve to the middle of Row  8 in P23.


Ironically it would be the Dane’ (Lundgaard) as the final qualifier trying to knock His teammate Katherine Legge out of P30.  With Legge sitting on a speed of 231.070mph, with Her crew giving Her Hugs as Lundgaard rumbled along after the Gun had been Fired. As who’d guess that Legge would be the only RLLR entry to make the Top-30 on Day-1? As I began singing,


Three Rahal’s and a Dale Coyne Racing in A Tree…


As it’ll be Lundgaard, Jack Harvey, Graham Rahal and rookie Sting Ray Robb in the Last Row Shootout Sunday.


Meanwhile it was Arrow McLaren’s Felix-the-Cat’ (Rosenqvist) knocking His teammate Alexander Rossi off of P1 at 1:45PM Pacific. With Rosenqvist being the only driver of the day to record two laps in the 234mph bracket, with a four lap average of 233.947mph vs. Rossi’s 233.528mph average.


As All four Arrow McLaren’s and Chip Ganassi Racing entries made the Fast 12 shootout. With the surprise of the day bseeing both A.J. foyt enterprises making the Fast-12 field! With Santino Ferrucci ninth and Benjamin Pedersen P11! Along with Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay P4 and the lone Team Penske entry of Will Power in twelfth, matching His Car number…


As Team Penske provided more late drama when withdrawing Josef Newgarden’s time with just twenty minutes remaining. For which I thought for sure they were pulling another last year’s McLaughlin Blunder! But Newgarden only lost one position, sliding down to 17th, three positions behind McLaughlin.


Whilst obviously Andretti Autosport was disappointed not having a single entry in Sunday’s Pole shootout, which surely will be another day of drama!